Dragon Endeavour Departs Space Station – Axiom Astronauts Finally Returning to Earth

SpaceX Dragon Endeavour Carrying Axiom Ax 1 Astronauts

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship carrying four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts approaches the International Space Station less than a day after launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Both spacecraft were orbiting 257 miles above the Atlantic Ocean northwest of the island country of The Republic of Cabo Verde, which is off the coast of Dakar, Senegal, in Africa. Credit: NASA

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft undocked from the space-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 9:10 p.m. EDT to complete the first all-private astronaut mission to the orbiting laboratory, Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1). The hatch was closed between the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft and the  International Space Station at  7:26 p.m. EDT, in preparation for undocking and return to Earth.

The Crew Dragon is slowly maneuvering away from the orbital laboratory into an orbital track that will return the astronaut crew and its cargo safely to Earth, targeting a splashdown off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, targeted for 1:06 p.m. EDT Monday, April 25.

International Space Station Configuration April 24 2022

April 24, 2022: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are parked at the space station including the SpaceX Dragon Endurance; the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter; and Russia’s Soyuz MS-21 crew ship and the Progress 79 and 80 resupply ships. Credit: NASA

Ax-1 Commander Michael López-Alegría, Pilot Larry Connor, and Mission Specialists Eytan Stibbe and Mark Pathy will complete 17 days in space at the conclusion of their mission. SpaceX Dragon Endeavour, the Ax-1 spacecraft, will return to Earth with more than 200 pounds of science and supplies, including NASA experiments and hardware.

Joint operations with the Axiom and SpaceX mission teams end and NASA coverage of the mission concludes when the spacecraft exits the area of the space station, approximately 30 minutes after undocking.

Axiom Space leads independent mission operations for Ax-1 and will resume coverage of Dragon’s re-entry and splashdown beginning about an hour before splashdown at 12 p.m. Monday, April 25, on the company’s website.

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